Summer is here! After all that spring rain, we jumped right into hot, dry weather. If you’re one who’d rather feel the wind in your hair on a run or bike ride, it can be hard to do so if it’s scorching hot outside. The question becomes: should I exercise outside, or keep it indoors?

Effects of Exercise on the Body

Exercise increases your heart rate and blood pressure. Sweat is the body’s mechanism to keep you cool during a workout, as muscles generate heat with exertion. When the temperature outside reach above 90 degrees, err on the side of caution and stay indoors. But what if you’re training for an event that will likely have you running or climbing over obstacles in the middle of the day, when it’s hottest? Training in those temperatures will do you good come event day but take extra precautions to keep yourself well. (These apply if you also work all day outdoors!)

What are the risks of working out in intense heat?

Working out in hot temperatures carries more health risks compared to exercise indoors. Heat exhaustion comes to mind, which can turn to heat stroke if you’re not careful. Both are serious conditions, but they can be prevented.

Click Here for symptoms of heat related illness, which include heavy sweating, nausea or vomiting, dizziness or headache, and fainting.

Tips to Stay Cool

  • Stay hydrated! Make sure to drink water at a minimum every 15-20 minutes, if not more frequently (depending on the temperature and your sweat rate).
  • If you’re running or cycling outside, do it early in the morning.
  • If you must be in the sun, wear sunscreen. Make sure to reapply it every 90 minutes if you’ve been swimming or excessively sweating.
  • Keep your head covered.
  • If you have any symptoms of heat exhaustion, get inside immediately. Move to a cool place, loosen your clothes, and put a cool cloth on your forehead. If you’re vomiting or your symptoms don’t resolve within an hour, seek immediate medical attention.

Get out there and enjoy the sunshine but stay smart and safe!

We’re always here to help! Call us today for a personal exercise program from one of our skilled physical therapists.